Hermann Hesse Quotes – The Author of Siddhartha

Hermann Karl Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter who lived from 2 July 1877 to 9 August 1962. His most well-known work, such as Demian, Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game, each explore a person’s quest for spirituality, self-knowledge, and authenticity. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946.

55 Hermann Hesse Quotes

  1. “People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest.”
Hermann Hesse Quotes

2. “When you like someone, you like them in spite of their faults. When you love someone, you love them with their faults.”

hermann hesse if i know what love is

3. “It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is.”

Hermann Hesse Quotes about life

4. “You’ve never lived what you are thinking, and that isn’t good. Only the ideas we actually live are of any value.”

hermann hesse quote on thinking

5. “The man of power is ruined by power, the man of money by money, the submissive man by subservience, the pleasure seeker by pleasure.”

hermann hesse quote on power

6. “Your soul is the whole world.”

7. “Each of us has to find out for himself what is permitted and what is forbidden.. forbidden for him. It’s possible for one never to transgress a single law and still be a bastard. And vice versa.”

8. “They both listened silently to the water, which to them was not just water, but the voice of life, the voice of Being, the voice of perpetual Becoming.”

9. “When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane.”

10. “Because the world is so full of death and horror, I try again and again to console my heart and pick the flowers that grow in the midst of hell.”

hermann hesse short quotes

11. “You must find your dream but no dream lasts forever, each dream is followed by another, and one should not cling to any particular dream.”

12. “My real self wanders elsewhere, far away, wanders on and on invisibly and has nothing to do with my life.”

13. “The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world. The bird flies to God. That God’s name is Abraxas.”

14. “I hope death will be a great happiness, a happiness as great as that of love, fulfilled love”

15. “There are always a few such people who demand the utmost of life and yet cannot come to terms with its stupidity and crudeness.”

hermann hesse dream quote

16. “I realize today that nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself.”

17. “Love is like death. It is fulfillment and an evening after which nothing more may follow.”

18. “Opinions mean nothing; they may be beautiful or ugly, clever or foolish, anyone can embrace or reject them.”

19. “Everyone can perform magic, everyone can reach his goals, if he is able to think, if he is able to wait, if he is able to fast.”

20. “Writing is good, thinking is better. Cleverness is good, patience is better.”

21. “How foolish it is to wear oneself out in vain longing for warmth! Solitude is independence.”

Hermann Hesse love quote

22. “Did not Atman dwell inside him, did not the primal source flow within his own heart?”

23. “I do want more. I am not content with being happy. I was not made for it. It is not my destiny. My destiny is the opposite.”

24. “My goal was not joy but purity, not happiness but beauty, and spirituality.”

25. “I wanted only to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult?”

26. “As a body everyone is single, as a soul never”

27. “The opposite of every truth is just as true.”

Hermann Hesse quotes about the truth

28. “You, Venerable One, may indeed be a seeker, for, striving toward your goal, there is much you do not see which is right before your eyes.”

29. “You are only afraid if you are not in harmony with yourself.”

30. “In eternity there is no time, only an instant long enough for a joke.”

31. “In fear I hurried this way and that. I had the taste of blood and chocolate in my mouth, the one as hateful as the other.”

32. “Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at anytime and be yourself.”

33. “He had loved and he had found himself. Most people love to lose themselves.”

hermann hesse fear quote

34. “Now true humor begins when a man ceases to take himself seriously.”

35. “A wild longing for strong emotions and sensations seethes in me, a rage against this toneless, flat, normal and sterile life.”

36. “I have always thirsted for knowledge, I have always been full of questions.”

37. “Those who are too lazy and comfortable to think for themselves and be their own judges obey the laws. Others sense their own laws within them.”

38. “Happiness is a how, not a what. A talent, not an object.”

hermann hesse quote about humor

39. “I felt knowledge and the unity of the world circulate in me like my own blood.”

40. “I am much inclined to live from my rucksack, and let my trousers fray as they like.”

41. “I will no longer mutilate and destroy myself in order to find a secret behind the ruins.”

42. “There are numerous ways in which God can make us lonely and lead us back to ourselves. This is the way He dealt with me at the time. It was like a bad dream.”

43. “I was in the hands of fate and it was useless to try to escape.”

44. “Perhaps people like us cannot love. Ordinary people can – that is their secret. ”

hermann hesse quotes trees

45. “If you need something desperately and find it, this is not an accident; your own craving and compulsion leads you to it.”

46. “For the first time in my life I tasted death, and death tasted bitter, for death is birthday, is fear and dread of some terrible renewal.”

47. “Dreams and restless thoughts came flowing to him from the river, from the twinkling stars at night, from the sun’s melting rays. Dreams and a restlessness of the soul came to him.”

48. “Seeking means: to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal. You, O worthy one, are perhaps indeed a seeker, for in striving towards your goal, you do not see many things that are under your nose.”

49. “One can beg, buy, be presented with and find love in the streets, but it can never be stolen.”

50. “You show the world as a complete, unbroken chain, an eternal chain, linked together by cause and effect.”

hermann hesse quotes about duality

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51. “Love can be begged, bought, or received as a gift, one can find it in the street, but one cannot steal it.”

52. “I wanted only to try to live in accord with the prompting which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult?”

53. “It is possible for one never to transgress a single law and still be a bastard.”

54. “Life is always frightful. We cannot help it and we are responsible all the same. One’s born and at once one is guilty.”

55. “The cup was emptied and would never be filled again.”

hermann hesse quotes i always believe

A must Read – Siddhartha Paperback by Hermann Hesse

This book was on the list of America’s 100 best reads. Be prepared for a challenging book about self-discovery. If you are looking for light entertainment, this is not for you.

Siddhartha Paperback 
by Hermann Hesse
Siddhartha Paperback by Hermann Hesse

Additional Read:

Who was Hermann Hesse?

Biography of Hermann Hesse

Hesse started working in the Tübingen bookshop on October 17, 1895. The bookshop had a specialized collection in theology, philology, and law. The books needed to be arranged, packed, and archived, all of which fell to Hesse.

Hesse worked on his own projects after each 12-hour shift, and on his lengthy Sundays off, he read instead of socializing. Hesse read theological works first, followed by works by Goethe, Lessing, Schiller, and Greek mythology. In 1895, he also started reading Nietzsche, whose theories about the “dual. impulses of passion and order” in human nature had a significant impact on most of his novels.

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